There is one beneficiary of the 9/11 attack in Egypt, the new Muslim brotherhood government. The attack obscured the siege that same day of the American embassy in Cairo and President Mohamed Morsi’s irresponsible handing of a very dangerous situation.
The brotherhood first response to the attack was to praise it and schedule its own protests. The brotherhood emergence as Egypt’s new ruling party has substantially altered the US policy debate over dealing with Islamists. Rather than put conditions on America’s generous package of economic and military aid, the administration has often appeared to believe that through deeper engagement, the US can build richer, friendlier relations with the organization and convince it to soften its hostile intolerant views.
The report recommends a variety of ways in which US policymakers can use engagement to encourage the brotherhood to act more cooperatively. Speakers for brotherhood student events, inviting brotherhood youth leaders to speak at American universities and offering brotherhood youth opportunities to study in the USA.
The more the brotherhood gets to know us the more they’ll learn to like us. (KILL US IS ANOTHER STORY).
However the brotherhood is historically has an anti-western outlook, they have long opposed Egypt’s peace treaty with Israel and hold deeply intolerant views towards religious minorities. Candidates for the brotherhood are subjected to a rigorous five to eight year process of internal promotion. Those don’t win their elders approvals are banished form the organization which is modeled on the principle of listen and obey.
They are not youth whose worldview can be reshaped, they are deeply ideological individuals. They are mere foot soldiers in the brotherhood.
The senior brotherhood leadership prevented a young member from attending a conference at a US think tank and that brotherhood youth typically decline to meet with US officials without explicit permission. Direct contacts with brotherhood leaders can help build the necessary trust and address leadership concerns about American attempts to include youth in civil society programming. They will demand anything less than full control over which members can interact with US officials. However the point should not be to alter how Americans and their elected officials perceive the brotherhood but rather to change how the brotherhood acts.
Be aware that closed, theocratic organizations do not become moderate when they are embraced unconditionally. They moderate when they are being squeezed and find themselves without other options.
Source—weekly standard, eric trager